2013 a year of spending in south

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 14:44 08/01/2014

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@devlincolle: Spending figures released today show 2013 was the fastest year of growth in card transactions since 2008.

According to Paymark, which processes about 75 per cent of New Zealand's electronic transactions, spending in the region was up 7.6 per cent on December 2012.

Last month, Southlanders spent $123.5 million in compared to $114.8 in December 2012. About 2.07 million card transactions were made in December 2012 compared to 2.2 million last month.

Paymark head of sales and marketing Paul Whiston said the figures indicated a continued upswing in spending on the network across last year, culminating in a particularly buoyant Christmas period.

"Following record-smashing spending on both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, it is not surprising to finish on such a high in December."

High growth in December was recorded by pet stores (up 9.2 per cent), sporting/camping equipment stores (+9.3pc), footwear retailers (+9.2pc) and watch/jewellery shops (+8.7pc) and double-digit year-on-year growth was seen in furniture stores (+11.5pc) and duty free shops (+17.3pc).

A lot of sectors have showed some strong spending patterns through December and many retailers would be pleased with the results Mr Whiston said.

Nationally, it seems Kiwis (and tourists) were out and about catching up with friends and family around the country, with the hospitality sector up 9.5 per cent, including a significant growth in accommodation (11.1pc) in contrast to no real year-on-year growth 12 months earlier.

The volume of card transactions around New Zealand during December was 6.8 per cent higher than a year ago, with credit card growth (15.2pc) remaining higher than debit card growth (4pc).

"During 2013, Paymark processed 986 million transactions, totalling $49.3 billion, over the 12 months. The average transaction value of $49.99 was 0.2 per cent above the 2012 average," Mr Whiston said.

"For the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis we're seeing a significant increase in spending which should bring optimism for most Kiwi retailers, and hopefully we see this momentum continue into 2014."

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- The Southland Times

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